ALBANY - New York's first Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit was held on Wednesday. It was ann opportunity for Governor Andrew Cuomo to announce plans for a new marketing campaign to promote state-produced wine, beer, cider and spirits sales and tourism, as well as a series of regulatory reforms that the governor says will significantly reduce business costs for beverage producers.
The Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit was attended by dozens of beer, wine, cider, and spirits producers, as well as farmers, industry officials, and tourism experts, who discussed with state agency officials and members of the Governor's Cabinet specific legislative and regulatory issues facing the beer and wine industry. The participants also explored new ways for the state work as a partner to further solidify New York's position as a leading hub of beer, wine and spirits production and tourism.
"Over the past 22 months, my administration has focused on opening New York's doors to business and improving our state's business climate to support growing industries so we can create jobs and grow the economy," Governor Cuomo said. "New York's vibrant beer, wine, cider and spirits industry supports thousands of jobs across the state and is a major driver of tourism in many communities. The important discussion held at this summit and key reforms that resulted continue our work as an entrepreneurial government to partner with the private sector to help key industries thrive and prosper."
New York is home to more than 450 wineries, breweries, distilleries, and cideries, and many more new businesses open every year. Wine, beer, spirits, and cider producers account for more than $22 billion in annual total economic impact in the state and support tens of thousands of jobs statewide. The state ranks third in the nation in wine and grape production, has the second-most distilleries, and three of the top-producing 20 brewers in the United States are located in New York.
The state's agriculture industry – from hops producers, barley growers, to vineyards – plays a vital role in producing the commodities needed to create beer, wine and spirits right here in the Empire State. Investing in and finding ways to support the beverage industry benefits not just wine, beer and spirit producers, but for farmers and equipment makers statewide.
At the Summit, business and industry leaders identified a need for New York State to strengthen promotion and tourism efforts targeted at beverage producers. New York currently lags behind other states in promotional campaigns specifically targeted at increasing tourism and promoting state-produced wine, beer and spirits.
To address this issue, Governor Cuomo an aggressive promotion and marketing campaign that will include:
- The state will provide $1 million dollars for a new advertising campaign to promote the industry. The state will increase funding - leveraged on an industry match – by up to $2 million, bringing the total marketing campaign to $5 million.
- To help New York's wine, beer and spirits producers penetrate major markets, like New York City's restaurants and, the Governor announced a working group led by Secretary to the Governor Larry Schwartz that will coordinate specialized, annual marketing events – similar to Restaurant Week and trade shows – that partner restaurants and hotels across the state with producers of New York-produced wine, beer, spirits, and food.
- The state will aggressively work to find new ways to promote New York State-produced beer, wine, spirits and cider at the annual State Fair.
- The state will also look into ways to ensure that alcoholic beverages sold at New York Racing Association tracks are produced in New York.